Okanagan College’s new Health Sciences Centre is now open to students this semester.
Designed by GEC Architecture, the 2,822-square-metre (30,375-square-foot) facility includes student-centred labs, classrooms and office space for a wide array of health and social development programs. The cutting-edge learning environments have been equipped with the latest education technology and designed to reflect spaces students will encounter in industry. The building will support 591 students in programs that train students for in-demand jobs, such as certified dental assistant, health-care assistant, pharmacy technician and more.
“If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s how essential health-care workers are to our province,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “We know B.C. needs more health-care professionals, and we’re committed to training a new generation of the people who care for us when we need it. Okanagan College’s new Health Sciences Centre is a modern, new facility that will help set both students and our province up for success.”
Health-care professionals are in high demand in the province and across Canada. The 2019 BC Labour Market Outlook projected 117,100 job openings in health professions by 2029. Okanagan College students in programs ranging from its bachelor of science in nursing to health-care assistant, pharmacy technician and dental assistant will study in the new building.
“This new facility will provide Okanagan College students with a world-class learning environment that will only further enhance the already outstanding education and training they are receiving at the college,” said Neil Fassina, president, Okanagan College. “We are grateful to the Province and to the community donors and industry partners across the region who have stepped to help us open these doors at a time when well-trained health-care and social development professionals are needed more than ever.”
The project is targeting LEED Gold, the Zero Carbon Building Standard, and Silver Certification of the WELL Educational Pilot Program.